Skip to main content

Full text of "Mathematical And Physical Papers - Iii"

See other formats


ON" THE  CHANGE  OF  KEFRANGIBTLITY  OF  LIGHT.          275
when the tube was placed a little short of the extreme violet, the blue light had extended completely across it. It was certainly a curious sight to see the tube instantaneously lighted up when plunged into the invisible rays: it was literally darkness visible. Altogether the phenomenon had something of an unearthly appearance.
11.    Since the fluid is so intensely opaque with regard to rays of extreme refrangibility, it might be expected, that, though it appears transparent and colourless when examined merely by viewing a white object through it, it would yet exhibit a very sensible absorbing action with regard to the  extreme  violet  rays when subjected to prismatic analysis.    To try whether such were really the case, I reflected the sun's light horizontally through a slit, at which was placed a test tube filled with the liquid, and analysed the line of light by a prism, the eye being defended by a deep blue glass.     I was barely able to make out the fixed line H, that is, the less refrangible band of the pair, although in similar circumstances I can generally see about as far beyond the more refrangible  band  as  it  is  beyond  H.    However, to  make  the result more decisive by using a greater thickness, as well as to render the observation strictly differential, I placed a tumbler filled with water behind the slit, the blue glass before it, and then viewed the slit through the prism.    I saw as far as usual into the violet.    The water was  then  poured out and  replaced  by the solution of sulphate of quinine, which, when viewed by transmitted light, appeared as transparent as the water which it had replaced. When the tumbler was now placed behind the slit, the blue beam of dispersed light was observed to extend quite across it, a distance of about three inches, and would evidently have gone much further.    On viewing the slit through the prism, the spectrum was found to be cut off about half-way between the fixed lines Gr and H.    The termination was pretty definite, which indicates that, at least for that part of the spectrum, the absorbing energy of the fluid rapidly increased with the refrangibility of the light; there was, however, an evident diminution of intensity produced by the fluid, extending from the termination of the spectrum to near Cr.
12.    There could no longer be any doubt, either as to the fact of a change of refrangibility, or as to the explanation thereby of the remarkable phenomenon exhibited by sulphate of quinine.
182